Preceded in death by his parents Christos and Savoula, brothers George and Spiros, and nephew Jimmy. He is survived by his wife Vaso, children Christos (Akis), Panayota, and George (wife Christine), grandson Nicholas, sister Vasiliki (Betty), nieces, nephews, godchildren, grandnieces and nephews.
Nickos, or Nick, was born in a small village in Greece called Katafigion. Even though this village was high up in the mountains, it didn’t protect him or anyone else there from experiencing the suffering and terror brought about by World War 2 and the subsequent Greek civil war.
While a teenager, Nick emigrated with his mother and two siblings (his brother George had already passed away) to Norfolk, VA where his father awaited them. He didn’t know any English, but that didn’t stop him from graduating high school on time. He then graduated from VPI (Virginia Tech) with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in three years.
After serving in the US Army as an MP during the Korean War, Nick began his career at General Electric in Schenectady, NY. After a couple of years, he transferred to the plant in Johnson City, NY.
In 1963, he went to Greece, and in less than two weeks, met and married Vaso. After the brief honeymoon, they came back and raised the family in Endicott and Endwell, NY.
Service to the country that gave him opportunity and the Greek community that embraced him was very important to him. Nick was very involved with the Annunciation Greek Orthodox church in Vestal, NY and the American Civic Association, where he served terms as president of both organizations. For many years, Nick was the chanter at the church for Sunday and special services.
After 35 years, Nick retired from GE. He spent much of his time reading the Greek and American newspapers, solving crossword puzzles, following the stock market, and rehashing the news with his brother, friends, and children. Among other things, he would also bake cakes and cornbread and carefully harvest the many apples from the tree in the front yard.
Nick continued his dedication to serve the community as a translator. Ironically, the boy who arrived in America without knowing a word of English was now translating letters and documents for friends and the American Civic Association, as well as serving as a court interpreter for the State of New York.
In July of 2021, Nick fell down and broke his hip. In about six weeks after his replacement surgery, astounding his doctor, the 90-year old was back to his fiercely independent self. He was going up and down the stairs with ease, shunning the physical therapist, and telling his kids to get rid of all the walkers and canes they got him.
About six months later, Nick started his swift, painless decline. In the course of a month, he was constantly surrounded by family, friends, neighbors, and aides who cared about him deeply and cared for him selflessly. He spent his last days at the Mercy House in Endicott before passing away peacefully.
May his memory be eternal!
The funeral service will be held at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Vestal, NY on Saturday, May 7th at 11:00 AM. An hour of visitations will precede the service. All memorials will go to the Mercy House, 212 North McKinley Avenue, Endicott, NY 13760.
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